Ducks race for MS along the Kitsuksis

A ducky event will take over Blair Park and Kitsuksis Creek this Sunday, May 8 as the inaugural Mother’s Day Duck Derby kicks at noon.

A ducky event will take over Blair Park and Kitsuksis Creek this Sunday, May 8 as the inaugural Mother’s Day Duck Derby kicks off from noon to 4 p.m.

Sandra Giesbrecht and her family have planned the derby and accompanying activities to celebrate a Port Alberni woman living with Multiple Sclerosis.

“I’ve known her throughout the community in the volunteer field. Her son plays with my grandson,” Giesbrecht said.

Deanna Spencer is a longtime volunteer in the Alberni Valley, and Giesbrecht’s family wanted to do something to give back to someone who has given so much to her community, Giesbrecht said.

At the same time, she wanted it to be a celebration—family-oriented, and fun.

Giesbrecht had dreams of releasing 1,000 bright yellow ducks into the Kitsuksis, much like the annual Ducky 500 race in Courtenay (which has grown to 6,000 ducks racing down the Courtenay River on July 1), but ducks are expensive, she said.

“No one wanted to lend us any either, because they didn’t want to cross-contaminate the river.”

So she has 20 brand new, large plastic ducks weighted with grout and sealed that she will release into Kitsuksis Creek behind Blair Park on Sunday at 2 p.m.

Volunteers will be at the ready with nets to pick up the ducks once they cross the finish line, near the footbridge behind Solda’s Restaurant.

The race will likely take about 15 minutes depending on the tide.

Family activities will continue until 4 p.m.

People can buy tickets for $2 each to bid on one of the 20 ducks; anyone who has the winning duck’s number will have their name entered in a draw for the prizes ranging from signed Trevor Linden Canuck hockey cards to gift baskets from local merchants and a round trip airline ticket to Vancouver from KD Air.

Ducky tickets are available at Granny’s Chicken, Trends Design Team, Burde Beans Coffee Shop and Cloud City as well as during the event.

Granny’s Chicken is also sponsoring a bouncy fair featuring bounce tents, sumo wrestling, bounce Twister, a foam bubble pit and bungee wall. Tickets for the bouncy fair will be sold on-site. There will also be plenty of free activities for kids, such as games and crafts, garden rock painting, chicken hucking, duck ringer toss and more.

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